Monday, March 14, 2011

Alon Nechushtan sets off to a journey beyond words

ALON NECHUSHTAN sets off to a journey BEYOND WORDS
A search between a strong programmatic connection between narrative and music.
Hans Koert

Alon Nechushtan sets off to a journey beyond words (English) - Alon Nechushtan op zoek naar het verhaal achter de muziek (Nederlands)

Recently the Israelian born, US piano player Alon Nechushtan released with his trio a new album entitled Words Beyond. The Alon Nechushtan "Words Beyond" Trio contains Francois Moutin on double bass and Dan Weiss on drums. The album has nine tracks, all composed by Alon Nechushtan. Who is this, in Europe, rather unknown piano player?
The Words Beyond Trio: f.l.t.r.: Dan Weiss - Alon Nechushtan - Francois Moutin. ( photo courtesy: Michael Iannantuono)
Alon Nechushtan was born in Israel and learned to play the piano and studied Classical Composition. In 2000 he moved to the US where he stu
died Jazz and Big Band at the well known Boston New England Conservatory as a student of the great band leader, composer, arranger and trombone player, Bob Brookmeyer. He also studied jazz piano with great names like Fred Hersch, one of my favourite jazz pianists. Early 2003 he moved to New York where he joined hundreds of gigs in the New York Jazz scene. He founded his own quintet TALAT in 2002 which recorded and played all around the world at festivals in Canada, Israel and Europe. This group plays a mix of all kind of musical styles from klezmer up to Jazz and funk with North African modes and Middle Eastern rhythms.
Alon Nechushtan ( photo courtesy: Michael Iannantuono)
The music of the Alon Nechushtan Words Beyond Trio as recorded on Words Beyond is a pure jazz record and reminds me to the music of the French pianist Jean-Michel Pilc and, before mentioned, Fred Hersch. Strong, swinging, modern piano sounds that has its roots in the hard bop tradition, but has developed into a personal style. Both Francois Moutin and Dan Weiss know how to fill in the rhythmic base.

In heard Francois Moutin, one of the "Moutin-twins", in February 2002 as part of the Jean-Michel Pilc trio with Jean-Michel Pilc at the piano and Ari Hoenig on drums, which impressed me ............ Francois Moutin left Europe since then and now lives in New York City. Dan Weiss played a few years ago with the Kenny Werner trio at
the Porgy en Bess Jazz club in Terneuzen (The Netherlands), I remember.

The Beyond Words Trio: f.l.t.r. Dan Weiss - Alon Nechushtan - Francois Moutin ( photo courtesy: Michael Iannantuono)
The Lieder ohne W├Ârter ( = the Songs Without Words) as composed by Mendelssohn inspired Nechusthan for his compositions. It are little stories without words. Alon inspires the listener by offering him a small poem to help the listener get a little more from the abstractions of the music itself. In the booklet Alon quotes an old Chinese poem, The Traveler, by Ho Hsun, who was a poet in the so-called Yung-Ming style and gives it his own 21st Century interpretation.
The Traveler (courtesy: Alon Nechushtan)
Alon told me: Instrumental music (as opposed to vocal music, where the lyrics hold a second layer of meaning) has for me a challenge of conveying a lucid "music-picture", a "sound-scape", a "tone poem" or narrative that gives the music the depths it deserves. The title Words Beyond suggests that too:
It suggest a strong programmatic connection between narrative and music.
Alon Nechushtan ( photo courtesy: Michael Iannantuono)
The titles of the tracks refer to the poem, but don't expect woolly themes or New Ages sounds - no not at all - the music as played by the trio is strong and swinging with a steady beat by a great rhythm section - great music.
I liked the opening track Muppet Shock and Dr. Master Plan most - both uptempo tunes - the latter because of his steady bounce and surprising rhythmic paterns. The last track, entitled The Traveler, has all elements in it what makes this album so special for me. This Words Beyond trio swings like hell and never bores - it is an album to play time after time before it divulges all its various layers. Wouldn't it be great to have this great trio on this side of the ocean? Alon told me that he loves to play in Europe and it would give us the opportunity to hear this gifted piano player live. If you're interested to have him in your club or festival you can contact him directly.
You can obtain a copy at Alon's website.

A great album as an introduction to Alon's music ...............

Hans Koert

This is one of those jazz albums, jazz fans in Europe should have heard. In Europe this gifted, Israelian born US piano player and composer, Alon Nechushtan is rather unknown. With Words Beyond, a journey beyond words, Alon and his trio, featuring Francois Moutin on double bass and Dan Weiss on drums, love to stretch its wings to Europe and this album shows that this trio has a lot to offer. Play this album and be surprised.
The Keep Swinging blog loves to spotlight promissing talents and this trio seems to be one of it. If you don't want to miss it, follow the blog at Twitter of ask for its free newsletter.

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Anonymous Alon said...

Dear Hans,

Reviewers these days, usually review an album in less than an hour- just give it a spin and immediately run to write -usually their first impression.

I'm very happy I've sent my CD to you .. your thorough approach to the written word, has a utmost respect to the reader - researching and working hard to get something meaningful even if takes a longer time, richer content, balanced story, than the average reviewer !

thanks so much for doing a great job,

I wish you all the best -


6:49 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


Your music always tells a story.

Keep Jam'n out the wonderful comps, on those ivory keys. Just the white notes baby!, yeah, then just the black notes, Yeah!! then just the blue notes!!! Yeah yeah yeah!!! cool!!!

3:19 PM  

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